Wealth, prosperity, power, luxury, splendor, excellence, and even immortality. These are words that usually comes to mind when one hears the word “gold”.
In ancient times no other metal has captured mankind’s attention than gold has. For as long as our history can remember, man has been enamored with this beautiful and shiny metal. Historians theorized that gold became so popular since it was so pretty to look at. Other metals like iron are dull to look at, while gold is beautiful enough that it was even worshiped by the ancient Aztecs.
Gold as a Currency
As time passed by, people began to discover trade and commerce. Gold was often used for jewelry since it not only looks beautiful but it’s also very malleable as well. But the greatest property that gold displayed is its ability to never tarnish and to never rust. This made gold a truly valuable component for jewelry and as such it was often worn by royalty and rich nobles.
It wasn’t in the late 500 B.Cs that gold began to act as a form of currency. During this time, merchants wanted a more standardized method for trade and commerce. This method will simplify trade and would create a more even playing field for all traders. Since gold was a very valuable metal, and because it doesn’t tarnish like copper, iron, and silver, gold was often the highest form of currency in ancient times.
As gold became a form of currency, its value continued to grow and grow. From ancient Greece up to the Roman Empire, gold has become the standard for wealth and power at that time. Even Great Britain’s metal based currency formed in 1066 was based upon gold. The British pound, the sterling silver, pence, and shillings were all based on the amount of gold that it represented. As the British Empire began to grow, they also spread their values and ideologies. And as such the concept of gold being valuable was spread through Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and eventually the rest of the world.
Gold is no longer a form of currency
As gold became more and more valuable, it also became more and more rare. And as such it was no longer treated as a standard form of currency. Since gold was no longer available to the general public, the government proposed a gold standard where countries can exchange currency with one another using a de facto gold standard.
The gold standard came to an end in the United Kingdom and the rest of the British Empire with the outbreak of World War I.
The United States government on the other hand continued with the gold standard tradition by establishing a bimetallic standard in 1792. This standard simply meant that all monetary units inside the United States had to be backed by either gold or silver. This made gold even more valuable in the US during this time, and as such various gold mining operations began.
This gold standard did not last forever. In the 1900’s the gold standard transitioned out of the monetary system. And in 1913, the US Federal Reserve eventually released promissory notes that could be redeemed in gold. These promissory notes eventually evolved into paper money which made gold coins, no longer necessary as a form of currency. The gold standard was completely abandoned in 1971 and the United States currency was no longer dictated by gold.
Is gold still valuable?
Many people think that gold is now a useless metal ever since it was abandoned as a form of currency. However you’ll be surprised to know that gold is probably the most useful rare metal on earth. And its market value keeps increasing yearly.
Gold is still being used for jewelry because of its beauty and its ability to never rust. Gold is a very efficient conductor and as such it is being used in a lot of low voltage electronic devices. If you have gold alloys in your circuit, it would significantly increase the gadgets lifespan since they never rust nor tarnish which means that the conductivity of your circuit will not be interrupted for years to come. Electronic components with gold in them are highly reliable and are very sought after.
Gold is used in medicine, small amounts of gold are used treat rheumatoid arthritis. Gold is even used as implants for some body parts. Gold alloys are even used in dentistry as fillings and as orthodontic appliances. This is because gold is non-allergenic and it’s very appealing to look at.
And lastly gold is used as a satellite component and a component for other aerospace appliances. It is used as components in a satellites circuitry because it is a dependable conductor. It’s also used as a coating since gold protects the satellite from infrared radiation which prevents the spacecraft from absorbing significant amounts of heat.
Gold holds a special place in mankind’s heart, and it has tons of uses as well. It’s has a high intrinsic value and its full potential is yet to be revealed.
So to answer the question, yes fold is still valuable and it will continue to do so for a very long time.